Christmas in a Tea Room

Today I have another Christmas photo for you.  I hope you aren’t sick of them yet.  There is just one image today, it is from one of my favourite places in the city, the Hopetoun Tea Rooms in the Block Arcade.  The front window is always full of really yummy looking cakes and other treats.

Tea Rooms WindowI haven’t seen it looking this good for a long time.  It was so full of great treats and really colourful.  I have taken many images of this window over the years.  It is hard to do.  You can’t do it without reflections, and more importantly it is also hard to do it without a whole heap of people standing in front of it.  I did have to wait for some people to move.

The Hopetoun Tea Rooms have been operating for as long as the Block Arcade has been open.  I think the only time it has closed has been when there was a fire or something.  I looked up their website, they have one, but for a historical place, they had no history.  Quite disappointing.

The window is all done up for Christmas.  I think it looks festive, how about you?

Tea Rooms with some FrostingThis is the same image, but I added some frosting around the edges.  I like the effect of the white, makes me think of snow and white Christmas’s.

A fair amount of work has gone into this image.  It began as a 3 image HDR processed in Photomatix Pro.  I added a few different layers of detail, and I added some blur.  I also tried to bring out the clarity more.  Interesting process, I have really used it on something like this before.  I also added some soft focus in Color Efex.

Hopefully tonight I will be able to get out and get some photos of Christmas lights, if I can stay awake that long.


  1. The second image with the frosting around the edges makes the photo look like something from days gone by. Really pretty.

  2. Beautiful! Looks like it was made up just for a photo! I wonder if you have enough light and/or iso capability to use a polarizing filter to handle the reflections?

  3. They are simply masters of window design. It shows off their product beautifully. I love walking past and wishing I had the time to go in there. I need to make some time to go in there one day.

    The blur is such a good effect. Creates a lot of mystery in your photos.

    • I have been in, the illusion doesn’t really live up to the reality, but you should go and experience it one day. The cakes are very nice, very very nice.
      Glad you liked it, thank you.

    • Thanks lensaddiction, I have one but I never thought to use it for something like this, might have to try it, thanks for the tip.

  4. The last time we were in Melbourne we looked for ages in this window. Sadly there were no free tables so we had to find somewhere else for our afternoon tea. The cakes look divine.

    • It has become very popular, I have to say though the best place to have afternoon tea is the Windsor, but you need to book. Hopetoun Tea Rooms often has a queue out the front. The cakes are devine. Thanks Carol.

  5. i really like both images but especially the first one. looks a bit like one of those very festive paintings, too.

  6. Very nice photo indeed Leanne, just the sort of tea room I love. Those cakes look incredible. I think somebody already mentioned the circular polarising filter to help with reflections from glass or water and glare from reflected sunlight. I discovered a new use for mine recently. I was trying to photograph a rainbow at the lighthouse a week or so back and I couldn’t understand why I could see the rainbow but I couldn’t see it through my viewfinder. Puzzled I tried a few shots. No rainbow. Then it struck me, the polarising filter. I gave it a slight twist and suddently the rainbow was there in the viewfinder but more intense than ever. I don’t understand the physics but by twisting the filter as it’s designed to do, you alter the wavelength of light entering the camera. I now know this filter is great for reflections and for rainbows. :-)

    • That is fantastic. I have one, but I haven’t really used it. I have when I have been outside, but would never have thought of using it for this. It is something I am going to have to try now. Thanks, I do love it when I get tips from others, much appreciated. :)

  7. … makes me think of those old leaflets and publications with faded illustrations that always need a second glance at to appreciate the details of things … also of the colouring and effect in Ladybird Books of years ago … My favourite was The Party :-)
    It’s a shame they have no historical background as you say .. But I think you may just have ‘ invented ‘ one for them with your lovely image ;-)
    Really nice Leanne !!

    • Thank you poppytump, I like what you have said about the image. I remember those books, they were amazing. what a lovely comment. :)

  8. Tthe draped curtain above gives a Victorian (era, not state) touch.
    I think I might find thoughts of which cake when, intruding on my photography.
    It sure takes a lot of work to get a photo to the standard you want.

    • I think the fact that it is in a very Victorian Arcade helps with that.
      You can never get in so it isn’t too much of a problem and there were people around so I had be quick. I did do a lot of work on this, but so happy I did. Thank you.

  9. I have nominated you for “A VERY INSPIRING BLOGGER AWARD” because I LOVE your blog and it has certainly been an inspiration to me. Looking forward to future posts.

  10. I love the Christmas setting in the window – and that tea room looks like the place I would enjoy having a cuppa. Those cakes look divine :)

  11. Both are stunningly beautiful. I love the rich colors. Kind of like icing on overdrive. I have never heard of the tearom, but if I ever get to Australia, I want to go there. Yum!

    • Thank you Mel, I was so happy with this image. If you get to Melbourne, get there early, it is located in the Block Arcade.

  12. petit4chocolatier says

    Stunning and brilliant displays. The first one is gorgeous, and the second one is dreamy. Love both :)

  13. No calories there … both photos very good. You have really caught the Christmas spirit in the soften edge photo – really look warm and inviting.

  14. I never tire of Christmas photos during the season! The window dressing is equally as wonderful as the photo it self…

  15. Oh what a BEAUTIFUL window!!! How you don’t weigh a BILLION lbs I will NEVER KNOW!!! Thanks SO much for sharing. I hope to own a tea shop and patisserie one day this is GREAT inspiration!

  16. I love the editing you’ve done on this series of Christmas photos. They have such a “Winter Wonderland”-ish feel to them. And you’ve mentioned that’s a challenge to do for Christmas in AU! :)

    • Thank you Nikki, I have enjoyed doing them. :) It can be a challenge finding Christmas here, but I have enjoying the search.

  17. You could totally do it with a ton of people standing there if you took a tripod and did a long exposure. If people are moving in and out fo the frame you wouldn’t see them. I like the first one and I’d also like to eat their food!

    • I don’t think it would be dark enough for that jjotter, the longest exposure you could get would still get blur. Doesn’t matter really, it was just for some fun and to show some Christmas. Thank you.

  18. I can never get sick of your Christmas photos. They’re much nicer than some of my family pics from Christmas past. :)

  19. I cannot count how many times I have walked past this icon of Melbourne and never gone in. It is always stuffed full of customers. Gorgeous photo. Could you do a post with all the photos you have taken of the window through the years? That would be a treat!

    • I think you need to get there early if you want a table. The cakes are good. I don’t know where all the photos are, I would have to do a major search, will see what I can do. Thanks Photobooth Journal

  20. Thanks for stopping by my Canadian blog and ‘liking’ my post about “Our Christmas Tree”. I love your photos!

  21. Argh, Leanne! I just gained TEN pounds studying your spectacular treatment of this highly caloric window display!

    In all seriousness, you have done a tremendous job…it looks as if there is NO glass at all! (Wouldn’t that be bad for their business? There’d be no display at all with five minutes…just piles of crumbs!!!) And I do admire the ‘frosting’ at the edges…it makes one dream of sugarplums, doesn’t it?

    • It is a great window, this is the best I have seen it for a long time.
      I am really proud of what I did with this image, I love the treatment. You know I don’t know what sugarplums are?
      Thank you so much 1000

  22. Love it! There’s a similar window in Warsaw Poland. I’m there in March and will for sure take a pic for you to critique! (Just saving up and can’t wait to take your online course! So EXCITED!!!!!) xo.

  23. Merry Christmas Leanne! I think I’ve already too many cakes and its still almost a week away… Perhaps for now on I should just look at your beautiful photos instead of gorging myself on their contents….

  24. shadesofalltrades says

    I visited your site after you liked one of my posts, and I’m glad I did because your photos are absolutely stunning! Love the Christmas photos

    • That is wonderful to hear shadesofalltrades, so glad to hear you are enjoying the Christmas photos. Thank you

  25. Beautiful. I’m collecting images to make a mood board for an idea I have. I hope you don’t mind me pinching this picture to include. Happy Christmas!

  26. Wonderful photo. The Hopetoun rooms are also a favourite of mine. They, like this photo evokes the Dickensian era, to me. I almost expect Miss Havisham to be eating a cake and sipping tea delicately in the corner. Thanks for posting.

    • Yes, that is so true, they have kept a lot of their period Victorian theme which, I am sure, is part of the reason why people like it., Thank you so much Forestwoodfolkart

  27. I’m just drawn in by this picture and want to be right there pressing my nose against the window – that’s exactly what a good picture should do! Love it :)

  28. Jo A. Richardson says

    This is gorgeous Leanne – your work is so beautiful!

  29. Lovely – they both have the effect of an old time illustration. I knew you did something but I didn’t know what, and that’s cool! I think one reason it works so well is that the processing is in keeping with the subject.

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